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With the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, some churches around Central Kentucky are changing the way they worship again.

First United Methodist Church in downtown Lexington is pressing pause on choir. The full chorus would’ve been leading worship this Sunday.

Director of music Brock Terry said the group had recently resumed practice.

“We felt like we were coming out of everything, and it was all kind of behind us, so we had started a little bit earlier in June, getting the choir back together, rehearsing together, thinking that this fall we’d be singing on Sunday mornings,” Terry said.

The church choir had taken a break previously, from March of 2020 through June of 2021.

With the recent spike in cases, Terry said taking a few beats of rest again was the best decision.

“The decision to either scale back or if we have to move back to online church, those are really not difficult calls to make because we want folks’ safety to be at the top of the priority list,” he said.

Terry said singing in a choir is more than a hobby; it’s a calling.

“There’s something about singing together with a group of people that is an experience that we really can’t create on our own,” Terry said.

A whole chorus of voices no longer echoes through the building. As a choir director, Terry misses the community.

“There’s an old gospel song that says, ‘brighten the corner where you are,’ and the little corner of the world of which I exist that I try to brighten is the one in which folks are able to sing together,” he said.

As a Christian, he said taking precautions is what he feels called to do.

“There’s also many scriptures that talk about taking care of and loving one another,” Terry said. “I think everyone has to make a decision on how to best do that, but certainly it’s very clear to me that as a Christian, and as a person of faith, the thing that we need to be doing right now is do whatever we need to protect on another.”

The choir chairs are back in storage, the love for thy neighbor is on full display.